Anglesea: Saint-Andre years to blame
September 2, 2012
Philippe Saint-Andre enjoyed great success at Sale © Getty Images
Sale forwards coach Pete Anglesea has blamed the influx of foreign players under former boss Philippe Saint-Andre for their slide down the Aviva Premiership pecking order.
The Sharks won the Premiership and Challenge Cup under the guidance of Saint-Andre - the current France coach - before his exit in 2009, but Anglesea believes that they have since paid the price for a lack of investment in home-grown talents.
Expectations remain high for Sale this season after several years scrapping at the basement of the Premiership, although they were hammered 43-6 by Exeter Chiefs in Saturday's season opener.
"Philippe had his way and for a period the style of play he adopted was obviously successful, but we probably brought in too many imports and didn't look enough from within, in my opinion," Anglesea told the Rugby Paper.
"We didn't look to the young lads or show any faith in them. We just got the cheque book out and, as a result, when the imports left there was a bit of a void when the local lads, the heart of the club, didn't come through."
Anglesea believes that Sale are now moving in the right direction under the guidance of chief executive Steve Diamond and that there will be more for fans to savour in the coming months.
"The club has been poorly organised over the last few years, but recently, under Steve and with the backing of Brian Kennedy and Ian Blackhurst, they've really taken the club by the scruff of the neck again," he said.
"We've started to go in the direction we should have done over the last few years. We want to bring back the identity of the north, that ethos of playing attractive rugby, and we want to play an abrasive game that attracts and entertains the fans."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards